Go for Consistency, Less Intensity to Build Muscles in Your 40s

Men over 40s today are busier, more than ever. They have their career, their families and relationships, plus there’s the influence of social media that distracts them to try this or travel to that. When you do find the time to go to the gym and keep up your lean mass, there’s the temptation to put in an intense session to make up for the other times you may have missed. The theme of building and maintaining muscles in your 40s is consistency and here’s why.



If you’re over 40, your body is not the same as it used to be when you were in your 20s – that’s the reality here. You feel your downtime more, and your recovery takes longer. Your body just does not process your nutrition like it used to, as well.

That said, your ability to build lean mass hardly declines when you reach middle age. Researchers from the University of Oklahoma claim that with appropriate training, two groups of younger men in their 20s and older men in their 40s build not just similar muscle mass, but increased their strength at the same rate as well.


If you’re used to intense workouts, that’s a lot of wear and tear you put on your body every time you head to the weight room. Your younger body might have shrugged it off – welcomed it, even. If you’re over 40, however, it’s probably time to look into the long term.

Just one injury will sideline you for weeks and months at a time, and that time you spend nursing your pulled hamstring or strained back should have been time invested in modest, steady gains instead.

Instead of looking to break down your muscles to the point of failure, focus on stimulating them instead. If you’re making steady gains with lighter weights, there’s no need to shred your muscles and risk injury just to feel a bit of extra burn.


Taking a bit of time to warm up your muscles properly will go a long way towards preventing injuries, especially if you’re over 40. Don’t just step out of the changing room and head straight for the heavy weights – take the time to go over a spare exercise bike or rowing machine and do some easy reps first.

This is the smartest thing you can do in the gym. Take your time always, except taking so long you are doing nothing. When we say take your time, there are two ways: giving yourself time to recover between sets, and taking time each time you go knowing you are improving. Calisthenics is an excellent way to build huge strength by only using the weight of your body. This makes this type of exercise easier on your body.


Look over your exercise plan and fit in extra time to do lighter weights, or unload every now and then, especially if you’ve been training hard recently. At this stage in your life, you know how to listen to your body and know your limit – lightening up for a week will give you time to recover so you can go harder and make more significant gains for the rest of the month. You are not one of those young fools who are smashing heavy weights only to have huge health problems by the time they hit 40.


While you are at it, try Aussie Push-Ups. Aussie Push-Ups? That’s when you hang from say a bench press bar without the bench and you pull your body up fast and let it back down slowly.

They are actually the best entry calisthenics articles you can start with. I consider myself a shredded, muscle builder, weightlifter and I would spend more than 30% of my effort into calisthenics because you use your own body weight to exercise, which means you do make those gradual gains and eventually become incredibly strong.


Three days a week is plenty for anyone to begin with, but it won’t take you long before you are going five days a week. Always have at least two days off a week. Rest is just as important as building muscle.


Finally, if you are over 40 or over 50, you are probably due for some testosterone injections. Testosterone plummets from the age of 30. A 50-year old has half the testosterone in the blood compared to a 25-year old.

Testosterone such as Sustanon 250 at 2cc injections twice a week for 12 weeks will not only make flames in the bed with your better half, but you will grow like a beast and have huge strength gains that come on over time as there are 4 ethers in the testosterone that spread the release of the testosterone over 30 days. Plus, there is little chance of side effects at our age.

It is typical and considered healthy by many doctors to cycle twice a year. There are even testosterone implants out now that last 3 months at a time – so that is slow and steady gains.

Building muscle in your 40s certainly has its challenges, but this is why you need to arm yourself with the right information. Start with a plan and be consistent. You’ll be on your way to gains soon enough.


Anthony Hill

When you put together the sum total of my 30 years of bodybuilding training, the contests, the vast array of diets I have experimented (tortured) myself with as well as the experiences I have been through with various training partners in the gyms I have trained in all over the world, it’s been a great ride and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to do lots of personal training for private clients alongside my day job. For a few years during my 30’s, I moved to Asia and worked as the Fitness Manager and head personal trainer at one of Thailand’s leading gyms in Bangkok. Learn More

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